Monday, September 28, 2009

What's new in Old Town?

The second installment of brand news from Norfolk includes the discovery of Old Town. Located in Holt - a town popular with Guardian reading, posh b&b staying, organic muesli munching, suped-up 4x4 driving Londoners - Old Town fits in perfectly as a purveyor of "blingamalist" clothes for the guilt-ridden rich. With its wooden floor boards and letter-pressed business cards, the shop stocks only samples. Once the customer has selected their cut, fabric and size, a new one is made specially for them and delivered within 6 weeks. As we emerge from our binge on fast-fashion and mass consumption, shops like Old Town are the zeitgeist for a new era of "better and fewer".

But, in branding terms, Old Town does not stop there. It also produces a newspaper which serves as a brilliant guide to the area for the aforementioned tribe not wanting to risk mixing with the riff-raff on Holkham Bay. The newspaper groans with on-trend nods - from the heavy organic paper it's printed on to the achingly nonchalant name-checks to other "blingamalist" establishments like Fernandez & Wells - the Soho deli for tv execs who like their steak sandwich at twice the price and with a side of smug.

Reading these paragraphs makes me seem as though I'm perturbed. I'm not, it's genius. If the future is de-branded, austere and route one in its approach then other luxury labels would do well to learn from the unassuming simplicity of Old Town. If I'm perturbed it's because I know that Tribe Organic-Box-and-two-kids-at-Bedales will get such a kick out of it.